The Columbus Blue Jackets selected 10 players, including Drummondville Voltigeurs center Derick Brassard
(pronounced bruh-SAHRD) with the sixth overall pick, in the 2006 National Hockey League Entry Draft, club President and General Manager Doug MacLean announced Saturday. The Blue Jackets were participating in their seventh NHL Entry Draft, which was held at General Motors Place in Vancouver.
Brassard tallied 44-72-116 and 92 penalty minutes in 58 games with Drummondville of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League last season. He was named a First Team QMJHL All-Star and received the Michael Bossy Trophy as the league's best professional prospect. In 137 career QMJHL games, the Hull, Quebec native has registered 69-124-193 and 117 penalty minutes.
Columbus traded its second round pick, 36th overall, to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for third (85th) and fourth (113th) round picks in this year's draft and a second round pick in the 2007 Entry Draft, which will be held at Nationwide Arena in Columbus.
The Blue Jackets used their first pick of the third round to select London Knights goaltender Steve Mason 69th overall. The Oakville, Ontario native was 5-3-0 with a 2.66 and .931 save percentage in 12 games with the Knights in 2005-06. With the 85th pick, the club tabbed left wing Tom Sestito of the OHL's Plymouth Whalers. The 6-4, 209-pound native of Utica, New York was named the Whalers' Most Improved Player after he racked up 10-10-20 with 176 penalty minutes in 57 games and added 5-2-7 and 29 penalty minutes in 13 playoff contests. He has collected 11-13-24 and 264 penalty minutes in 94 his first two OHL campaigns.
In the fourth round with the 113th pick, Columbus selected Lethbridge Hurricanes defenseman Ben Wright. The 6-2, 189-pounder had 5-13-18 and 83 penalty minutes in 55 games last season in his first full campaign in the Western Hockey League. The Jackets had three picks in the fifth round and used them to select Finnish right wing Robert Nyholm at No. 129, Michigan State left wing Nick Sucharski at No. 136 and Drummondville defenseman Maxime Frechette at No. 142.
Nyholm tallied 11-9-20 and 24 penalty minutes in 39 games for IFK of the Finnish Junior League. Sucharski picked up 2-5-7 and 18 penalty minutes in 36 games and added 0-1-1 in seven playoff games as a freshman with the Spartans. Frechette registered 24 penalty minutes in 13 games with Drummondville in 2005-06 and has 2-3-5 and 74 penalty minutes in 63 QMJHL games the past two seasons.
The Blue Jackets rounded out the draft by selecting Prince George Cougars defenseman Jesse Dudas with the 142nd pick in the sixth round, Medicine Hat Tigers right wing Derek Dorsett with the 189th pick in the seventh round and Moncton Wildcats left wing Matt Marquardt with the 194th pick acquired from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for a seventh round pick in the 2007 Entry Draft. Dudas notched 0-11-11 and 27 penalty minutes in 24 games with Lethbridge and Prince George last season. Dorsett had 25-23-48 with 279 penalty minutes in 68 games with Medicine Hat. In 68 games, Marquardt notched 16-9-25 with 69 penalty minutes.
BLUE JACKETS 2006 ENTRY DRAFT PICKS/Round (Overall): 1 (6) – C Derick Brassard, Drummondville (QMJHL); 3 (69) – G Steve Mason, London (OHL); 3 (85/from San Jose) – LW Tommy Sestito, Plymouth (OHL); 4 (113/from San Jose) – D Ben Wright, Lethbridge (WHL); 5 (129) – D Robert Nyholm, IFK Jr. (Finland Jr.); 5 (136) – LW Nick Sucharski, Michigan State (CCHA); 5 (142) – D Maxime Frechette, Drummondville (QMJHL); 6 (159) – D Jesse Dudas, Prince George (WHL); 7 (189) – RW Derek Dorsett, Medicine Hate (WHL); 7 (194) – LW Matt Marquardt, Moncton (QMJHL).